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BUA Sugar Workers Protest Unfair Practices

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BUA Sugar

Workers at the BUA Sugar Refinery yesterday protested against what they described as injustices and unfair labour practices in the organisation, demanding the immediate payment of their hazard allowances which the management had refused to pay since 2008.

In a peaceful protest staged in Lagos, the workers who marched round the company’s premises, holding placards with varying inscriptions, expressed their displeasure with the company’s insensitivity to their plights.

According to them, there is “no proper salary structure; no payment of shift allowance; no hazard allowance; no condition of service; no standard training for staff; no promotion of staff since the beginning of the refinery till date; and no regular meeting between the staff and the management.”

Speaking on behalf the protesting staff, an engineer with the company, Momoh Kareem, said they had tabled their grievances to the company’s management many times but all to no avail, saying that the management was not representing them well.

“We’ve tabled our problems to them time without number but no good response from them. There is what is called ‘hazard allowance.’ We want our hazard allowance paid immediately before we can go back to work. We demanded that they should pay N30,000 instead of the normal N60,000 that workers all over are paid for it, but they said they will pay us N12,000 with effect from August, 2016. But we disagreed with them on that. So we are demanding that they must pay that N30,000 as hazard allowance which must be paid in arrears beginning from 2008 till date and failure to do this, none of us will resume work, ”Kareem said.

“People have been falling sick here; some of us have become impotent because of the heat and vibration of the machines; some are now deaf, and so many have died. One of us by name Seik died about three years back but nothing has been done about him and the family he left behind. They kept on posting the wife; come today come tomorrow; a widow for that matter.  The one month annual leave that we have been observing has been reduced; they now count Saturdays and Sundays as part of the 31 days in our leave. That is why we decided to rise against injustice meted out to us. Those people at the head office enjoy full AC; they come to work anytime they like and close earlier than us and their salaries are ten times our own, ”he added.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Nigerian Brewers Post Combined Loss of N169.7 Billion

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Nigerian Breweries - Investors King

Nigerian brewers collectively faced a significant setback in the first quarter of 2024.

According to a comprehensive analysis of financial statements from leading brewing companies, including Champion Breweries Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, International Breweries Plc, and Guinness Nigeria Plc, the industry reported a combined loss of N169.7 billion.

This downturn is in contrast to the same period last year when three of the four major brewers recorded a total loss of N54.3 billion, while Guinness Nigeria managed to eke out a modest profit of N1.84 billion.

Experts attribute this dramatic reversal to a multitude of factors, with the foremost being the steep devaluation of the Nigerian naira coupled with soaring interest rates.

The fluctuating exchange rates have exacerbated the financial woes of brewing companies, particularly those with significant dollar exposures.

International Breweries, for instance, saw its foreign exchange loss balloon to N162.2 billion in the first quarter of 2024 from an FX gain of N1.22 billion in the same period last year.

Similarly, Nigerian Breweries and Guinness Nigeria reported substantial FX losses of N72.85 billion and N37.06 billion, respectively, compared to much lower losses or gains in the previous year.

Even Champion Breweries, which did not record any FX loss in the comparative period, reported a loss of N0.74 billion in Q1 2024.

Industry analysts emphasize that the weakened naira has intensified the costs associated with servicing foreign debt obligations, further straining profit margins.

The shift to a floating exchange rate regime has led to rapid depreciation of the naira, resulting in significant FX losses across the brewing sector.

Moreover, the decline in consumer spending has added to the sector’s woes. Inflationary pressures have eroded the purchasing power and disposable income of consumers, forcing them to prioritize spending and seek cheaper alternatives.

Femi Egbesola, the national president of the Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, notes that inflation has significantly reduced consumers’ purchasing power, impacting their willingness to spend on alcoholic beverages.

Furthermore, increased competition from alternative beverages and a more diverse range of beer options have intensified market competition, squeezing profit margins for brewing companies.

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Appointments

United Bank for Africa Welcomes Emmanuel Nnorom to Board

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Emmanuel Nnorom

The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Africa’s leading global bank, has announced the appointment of Emmanuel Nnorom as its new non-executive director, effective April 30, 2024.

This strategic appointment has received the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as of May 13, 2024.

In an official statement, UBA highlighted the significance of Nnorom’s addition to the board. “Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), hereby announces the appointment of Emmanuel Nnorom as a non-executive director effective April 30, 2024.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted approval for this appointment on May 13, 2024.”

Tony Elumelu, Group Chairman at UBA, expressed his enthusiasm about the appointment.

“The appointment of Emmanuel Nnorom, a professional with considerable experience in the sector, emphasizes our Group’s commitment to strong governance and excellence. Nnorom brings a track record of working in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, including power, and a pan-African perspective that complements our existing Board.”

With over 40 years of experience in financial services and audit, Nnorom’s extensive background includes significant board roles with listed companies.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Also, he is an alumnus of Templeton College, Oxford, further underscoring his vast expertise and qualifications.

UBA, which provides retail, commercial, and institutional banking services across several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, and the United Arab Emirates, continues to lead in financial inclusion and the implementation of cutting-edge technology.

This appointment comes at a time when UBA is celebrating record-breaking financial achievements. The bank recently reported over N2 trillion in revenue and a profit of N607.69 billion, the highest in its banking history.

Nnorom’s appointment is expected to bolster UBA’s board, bringing a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to the bank’s operations. His experience in both financial services and critical sectors of the economy will be invaluable as UBA continues to expand its footprint and reinforce its commitment to excellence and strong governance.

As UBA continues to navigate the complexities of the global financial landscape, the addition of a seasoned professional like Emmanuel Nnorom signals the bank’s dedication to sustaining its growth trajectory and maintaining its position as a leading financial institution in Africa and beyond.

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Company News

Dangote Refinery Raises Diesel Price to N1,100/Litre Due to Naira-Dollar Crash

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Dangote Refinery has announced an increase in the price of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) from N940 per litre to N1,100 per litre.

This significant adjustment in pricing reflects the refinery’s efforts to mitigate the impact of currency depreciation on its operations.

The decision to raise the price of diesel comes amidst ongoing challenges in the foreign exchange market, with the naira experiencing a downward spiral against the dollar in recent weeks.

The refinery cited the unfavorable exchange rate as the primary driver behind the price hike, signaling the intricacies of operating in a volatile economic environment.

It is worth noting that just a few weeks ago, on April 24, 2024, Dangote Refinery had announced a reduction in the prices of diesel and aviation fuel to N940 per litre and N980 per litre, respectively.

This move was aimed at responding to calls from oil marketers for a reduction in diesel prices, demonstrating the refinery’s willingness to adapt to market dynamics.

However, the recent depreciation of the naira has necessitated a reversal of this downward trend, prompting Dangote Refinery to adjust its pricing strategy accordingly.

Some dealers reported purchasing diesel from the plant at even higher rates, reaching up to N1,200 per litre for those procuring lesser volumes.

Abubakar Maigandi, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, attributed the price increase to the rising exchange rate, as communicated by the refinery.

He emphasized the direct correlation between currency fluctuations and the cost of imported commodities, such as crude oil, which forms the basis for diesel production.

While officials of the refinery have remained tight-lipped on the matter, industry sources and major marketers have corroborated reports of the price adjustment.

Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the adverse impact of the naira’s depreciation on refined product prices.

The recent fluctuations in the naira-dollar exchange rate underscore the challenges facing Nigeria’s economy, with implications for various sectors, including energy and transportation.

Despite initial signs of stability earlier in the year, the naira’s recent depreciation has reignited concerns about inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty.

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